Clients rely on us for their success

March 2009November 2009 (9 months)

Addressing a history of poor infrastructure management with a loss of sight or control over development and testing environments I was charged to define, document and rollout a new Environment Management Service on a virtualised (VMWare) platform at the core. Defence constraints and a very silo based culture made for a challenging activity. Ultimately I delivered a service, managed through a new Environment Manager role, which catered for an industry standard environment stack, with policies, processes and methodologies applied for effective and efficient use and control of infrastructure throughout the Met Office.

This was coupled with all the necessary knowledge transfer and training requirements along continual with a plan for continual improvement and enhancement.

 

 

 

August 2008May 2009 (10 months)


Wider consultancy role covering all functions across Service Transition department (inc. Configuration Management, Test Management, Release Management and Knowledge Management).

Definition and implementation of Release Management. Best practice and industry standards champion.

Also implemented new framework across Operational Acceptance and Service Licensing covering solution developments targetted at Defence, Civil and Commercial customers.

Oracle, Adobe Flex, Python, Fortran and Java developments across WinTel and Linux platforms.

 

 

Release Management Specialist

 

 

February 2008August 2008 (7 months)


Tasked to define and implement a new Release Management framework from the ground up and put in place a new Release Management Team. The framework had to cater for both ITIL based waterfall as well as DSDM Atern (Agile) development methodologies but also being integral to Prince2 Project Management processes.

This was a challenging undertaking given the significant cultural shift that was required. Full integration with existing Service Development Lifecycle processes was also required and the process of implementation identified a number of failing dependencies, in terms of Test and Configuration Management processes which I also had to address.



Test Manager


Navigation and Defence; 1001-5000 employees; Defence/Maritime industry

 

April 2013 – Present (4 months) Dorchester, United Kingdom


Test Management of Agile (SCRUM) development of ship navigation system (factory acceptance).  Working with the client to define and agree requirements, environment management, software packaging and deployment.  Defect Management and supporting metrics/MI. 
Periods of time onsite at client site supporting test automation (Selenium) framework.
Test Management process review and improvement recommendations.  JIRA and Subversion support.

Test Automation Development Manager


Government Agency; 1001-5000 employees; Maritime industry

 

January 2012 – March 2013 (14 months) Dorchester/Taunton, United Kingdom


Working with British Aerospace Systems to define a SCRUM (Agile) focused strategy and develop a technical solution to automate testing of the UKHO's flagship ship navigation application.

Automation toolset: Selenium IDE/Webdriver, Python, Java, Javascript, AutoITv3, Sikuli.

Technologies: IIS, MS SQL, Windows 2008, SAP.

Having managed manual System, Integration, UAT and Regression testing of the product previously I was highly suited, and somewhat enthusiastic, about this engagement. Working and helpign to build a strong relationship with a new supplier added a further dynamic to the task in hand.

 

Technical Consultant


December 2011 – January 2012 (2 months) Taunton, United Kingdom


Essentially a knowledge transfer role to aid the IMT division better understand and support the UKHO's core ship navigation platform.

Throughout my previous engagements with the UKHO I had built up a substantial knowledgebase about the product, I was positioned within the Application Support team to shadow 3rd line support activities, undertake specialist operational testing (performance/availability) and document environment, configuration and support information.

 

 

e-Navigator Programme Test Manager


 

November 2010 – December 2011 (1 year 2 months) Taunton, United Kingdom


An extremely challenging and diverse role leading a team of test specialists primarily focusing on user acceptance testing of the UKHO e-Navigator product, which consisted of a web-based ASPX, AJAX, Java element supplemented by a desktop based client/server application.

This was a very hands on role covering the furthest extremes of both tactical and strategic considerations. A proportion of time was spent working with our third party supplier at the time in Norway.

Just about every aspect of this engagement was challenging but very fulfilling.

 

 

Configuration, Release and Environments Manager

 

 

January 2010 – November 2010 (11 months) Taunton, United Kingdom


Engaged to define, document and implement Release Management for the Commercial and Finance division of the UKHO. This quickly developed into owning Configuration Management and Environment Management as well.

Established a three man team to lead on these activities once the process and governance frameworks had been put into place. Due to poor third party software delivery quality I was tasked with developing software packaging and release processes supplier side, working with both Norwegian and Russian development and project resources.

This role also saw me setting up appropriate VSS based DMLs, defining the Incident Management process, application support, being a technical design stakeholder, interfacing with and steering service transition and service delivery amongst many other activities.





Public Company; 10,001+ employees; ZURN; Insurance industry

 

May 2007February 2008 (10 months)


A role covering Project and Service Management as well technical hands-on. Charged with managing the implementation of Zurich’s TouchStone programme deliverables covering 5 development streams. The target infrastructure was spread throughout the UK and Switzerland so required many offshore trips as well as global liaison with the USA, India and Germany.

The solution was developed offshore in India by WiPro and delivered through myself whereby I would enforce quality gateways and manage the implementation of the software through Formal/System and UAT testing environments and ultimately the production enterprise. I assisted in the generation of internal work products in conjunction with IBM’s Method Programme implementation and implemented document management. I owned all Configuration Management and Release Management responsibility from defining process and governance to putting in place source code control, asset management and deployment automation.

The target platform varied from FileNet ECM on AIX/Windows 2003, WebSphere v5 and v6 on AIX, Captiva Imaging solution on Windows 2003 and desktops as well as DB2 v8 and SQL 2000.

Managing the technical implementation was challenging due to the limited timescales and having to co-ordinate deployment activities across Europe with CSC and IBM, I overcame this however.



Delivery focused and working for a Microsoft Partner, the primary focus behind this role was to design, implement and maintain a new Configuration Management and Software Build/Release process for a Web based e-commerce application running a thin client with IIS5.0, MTS/Component Services middle tier and SQL backend.  This was an e-commerce b2b e-collaboration supply chain toolkit.

Successfully implemented a server-based Visual SourceSafe infrastructure, build automation process, unit/regression/security/stretch testing environments (multi-platform), daily software builds, and software release control mechanism for both Windows 2000 and NT.  Builds consisted of VB6, C++, ASP, HTML, XML/XSL based software on OO based platforms.  I managed the process of promoting software from development into UAT and live environments; managing all release projects to agreed project plan schedules; liaised with other departments to ensure each release project is sufficiently staffed.

Due to initial successes of my work I was asked to take over the Rapid Response Unit (RRU) departmental management function.  This role’s scope included man management of nine developers and two QA staff, bug tracking and resource allocation, hotfix and software patch requirements and metrics analysis, always aiming for successful closure of the software code development prior to releasing the product, in essence ensuring that the development life cycle and process structure was adhered to with the use of walk through and code review practices.  Established test scripts and co-ordinated adherence to defined test methods and practices.  Defined test cases using White and Box methods.  Change Management of platform migration, NT to Windows 2000/XP, OS and hardware installations and upgrades.  Initiated a project to integrate WinRunner automated testing scripts into environment management processes.
We have worked with a number of industry leaders, each of which have realised benefits from their engagement with us.

A diverse programme, working to assess the House of Fraser’s group IT capability to implementing ITIL based Service Management processes.  Tasked define and implement a software configuration and release management process for the Information Services division.  Implementing a Change Management structure and processes.  Worked to improve pitfalls in existing support and operational processes, encouraging better communication paths between divisional departments. Introduced Service Introduction process to better manage the flow of information between Development, Production implementation and support.

Designed, developed and implemented a Definitive Hardware Store and Definitive Software Library with the capability to remotely retrieve and store server (WinTel) asset information through WMI.  Incorporated reporting and more specifically server comparisons.

Defined and implemented a pilot and roll-out strategy for House of Fraser’s Point of Sale application (COPOS) covering 3500 retail till workstations. Technology predominantly covered C# .NET, SQL Server 2000/2005, Mercury Quality Suite and third party product on WinTel platforms.


Here we were tasked to implement Release Management strategy, best practice and process across the IT division.  In parallel to this I acted as the principle Release Manager for software releases in respect to their core Life and Pensions product, Elixir which included MI and Actuarial Valuations.  A large proportion of this role was to manage the customer interface for releases and environments for Zurich, Children’s Trust Fund and Capita Business.

We undertook an activity to integrate ITIL based Release Management practices and process into the group’s Service Management Tool, Assyst Enterprise and initiated a programme for full Service Management integration.  This was driven by the fact that though Capita had the primary Service Management functions in place, communication and process was disjointed and ineffective.  This lead to the inability for Capita to correctly record and track software and hardware releases through their enterprise as well as for the enterprises of their clients.

We successfully moved Capita away from a 66% hit rate for on-time delivery to over 90%.  Coupled with this implemented a Release Management database with integration to a CMDB.  We also introduced environment asset management through new Definitive Hardware and Software Libraries.

We significantly enhanced the Release Plan, aligning it to that of the client’s Release Plans.  Development for the Elixir product was managed though an off-shore development company, Mastek in Mumbai, India.  We introduced conformity checking and gateway sign-offs as well as installer standards documents to increase the quality of software releases.

A challenging assignment, working to define and implement a software configuration and release management processes for the Information Services division.  This is a global division with its development resource located in Bangalore, India.  Implementation of Rational ClearCase for source control and Rational ClearQuest for defect tracking management was essential and was completed along with underlying processes and policies.  A Release Management Gateway workflow was introduced to enforce quality process and governance.  The role expanded somewhat to cover life cycle activities across the whole programme, including development processes, testing processes and problem management.

Release Management covered five core departments encompassing around 300 releases per annum.  A relationship with the Change Management department was built with clear and defined requirements established; I also introduced a clear process for raising change requests.  I was a member of the Local Approval Board and sat on the Change Approval Board as required.

A Release Management plan did not exist and prior implementations were reactive and rushed with no risk/impact analysis.  I introduced a new Release Management database and Release Plan to counter this.

Technologies included Microsoft BizTalk, Host Integration Server, .NET Web Services, Ab Initio, SQL Server, Oracle, MSMQ, Clusters and Web Farms.


Working within the integrated Customer Relationships Management (iCRM) programme from inception, delivery was A around deployment of a full CRM solution across the group using Portrait (third party supplier) and Nationwide developed interfaces (RAD environment) to host systems.  This project has recently won a National Award in the CRM arena.  Managing the third party supplier I steered development and deliverable direction.

Tasked with designing and implementing a configuration management process/system that would be used as a blueprint for all projects across the group.  Network architecture design and implementation of life cycle environments including development, staging, systems testing, UAT, Pilot and Production.  Version control repositories, automated build and systems management.  Domain administration, hardware/software purchase and installation.  Install pack creation and deployment using Wise Installer Pro and SMS.  Complete release/delivery management and managing the change process across 9 projects within the programme. Working in conjunction with the Test Manager, strategy implementation, daily control of testing activities, test script production and defect tracking management was shared.  This involved resource management of 4 testers.  I also man managed 3 other CM specialist staff.  I devised and managed and issues and risk matrix used for system support and project planning.  This role shifted focus for 6 months to systems management in an effort to improve performance and stability.

The architecture managed included multiple web farms, Win2K component services, 10000 thin clients, racked application servers (Compaq), web servers and web services, cache servers and database servers (SQL2000).  Interface builds consisted of VB, HTML/XML/XSL, and .NET (to latest framework) and high quality installers were developed using Wise.

I was a member of a number of control groups including UAT, Technical Implementations, AIT and, .NET Steering,  Software Configuration Management, Change Control and am currently managing a work stream to implement tighter security through server environments and inventory management.

Key technologies would include, IIS5.0, .NET,  Web Design, G7x Build Manager, VSS SourceSafe, Wise Installer Professional, batch and VB scripting, Compaq servers, network administration, AIT Portrait, Visual Studio, VISIO, terminal services, Test Director 7.0, Sagent , web services and compon
ent services/MTS.



We were involved in a variety of small and large scale IT integration and migration projects, completing requirements and needs analysis for external and internal customers to Director level, designing high level n-tier systems architecture, documentation and design reviews, migration and integration of legacy systems with Windows 9x environments.

We designed and implemented a Vehicle Management system used for collaboration between the customer and our internal systems for vehicle ordering and supply chain.  This was developed using VB4 and Access with a SQL6.5 backend.  UAT specifications, continual regression and unit testing, customer liaison and technical documentation were also within my job scope.